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4 Interactive Coding Activities for Kids

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4 Coding Activities for Kids Based on Morse Code

Today we rely largely on cell phones and the internet to communicate, connect with friends and family, and share the latest TikTok dances. Keeping in touch wasn’t always this easy. Take your class on an Unruly adventure back to the turn of the 19th century to learn to code about the early days of modern communication with the latest Unruly Morse Code Activity Pack

coding activities for kids

The History of Telegraph & Morse Code

The early telegraph was a big machine designed to transmit messages using 26 electrical wires. It was unwieldy and difficult to use.

early telegraph
Early Telegraph

Samuel Morse, born in Charleston, Massachusetts, was a painter and scientist who took an interest in the telegraph and set out to work with colleagues, Leonard Gale and Alfred Vail, to improve its functionality. Together, they were able to reduce the unwieldy bundle of wires down to just one. To transmit messages across the single-wire telegraph, Morse and Vail created a system that would come to be known as Morse Code. The code assigned numbers and letters in the alphabet to a series of dots and dashes based on frequency of use. Letters used often, such as “E”, got a shorter code, while letters used less frequently, such as “Q”, had a more complex code. Operators were able to hear and interpret the code by listening to the sequence of clicks in the receiver and then translate the messages for the recipient. Use of the telegraph expanded rapidly with people eager to send messages quickly across long distances and were made more accessible as lines extended along railroad routes that began to crisscross the country. 

Fun Fact: 

SOS is an internationally recognized distress single established using Morse code. The letters have no meaning, but were chosen because they are easily communicated. The letter “S” is three dots and the letter “O” is three dashes.

SOS in morse code
Morse Code for SOS

4 Morse Code Coding Activities for Kids using Virtual Splats

Take learning a step further by creating your own Morse code with your virtual Splats! Our latest activity pack will walk you through introducing Morse code through 4 unruly coding activities for kids to get them coding funny messages to share with Crash, our supersleuth gorilla. These are great for middle school level and don’t require physical Splats.

These coding activities for kids features a handy dandy video tutorial to help everyone learn to code and follow along. Get students coding in no time Splat!

morse code coding activities for kids
Morse Code Alphabet
  1. INTRO TO MORSE CODE: After a quick brush up on the telegraph and Morse code, students will unlock the Unruly alphabet and learn to code a series of lights to create an SOS message. This activity introduces the "when program starts" "light splat", and "delay" blocks. The code will get a little...well...Unruly! Which leads us to the next activity where we introduce functions to package code.

Splat Coding App
Splat App code for SOS in morse code

  1. FUNCTION BLOCKS: Functions helps make programs easier to read and write! Students will name their Morse code blocks with functions and use them to quickly and easily reuse or recall their messages later. In this activity, students learn to code by re-creating the alphabet using functions.

Splat App
Splat code for short (dot) and dash (long) to use for morse code
  1. TRANSMIT YOUR MESSAGE: Crash can only receive messages in Morse code! He’s hoping to hear from students and is looking for them to use the entire Splat alphabet to create messages to send to him. Use the provided template to have students choose words to code! These words will come in handy for Activity 4!

Morse Code word chart
  1. CRACK THE CODE: Calling all supersleuths! Crash is writing the next great American novel and he wants to share it with your class, but first they will have to decode the password to read it. Once students have the password, they can use the words from activity 3 and have Crash incorporate them into his novel. 
Super secret passcode
coding activities for kids

How to Teach Virtually  Without Physical Splats

If you’re interested in learning more about using the Splats app to get coding activities for kids - look no further! Our latest webinar walks you through everything you need to know to get started with the Morse Code activity pack and begin coding and decoding messages with the Splats app. No physical Splats required!

This webinar will review three quick easy ways to explore:

  1. How to code with virtual Splats through the web app or iPad app.
  2. How our 4 new coding activities for kids can introduce coding to your students virtually.
  3. Strategies on student-led learning with our virtual coding activities for kids. 

Time for supersleuths everywhere to create morse code messages and crack the code! Share your results with us and bring a little unruliness to your students with our unique, fun, and completely interactive coding activities for kids.

Want more coding activities for kids? Check out the Scratch Halloween coding activity and create your own trick or treat candy collector game! 

Unruly Studios makers of Unruly Splats, programmable, stompable floor tiles that help kids learn fundamental coding skills through recess-style play. Best for elementary and middle school students from PE to science or coding class, a great addition to the classroom for active STEM coding and play!

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